YORK, PA-An 82-foot pass and a lay up at the horn allowed the York College men’s basketball team to tie their game at the end of regulation against Mary Washington on Wednesday night in York. Senior All-American Chad McGowan (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown) then made sure that play would lead to a win as the Spartans captured a 76-72 overtime victory over the Eagles in a huge Capital Athletic Conference contest. The senior scored seven of the Spartans’ 13 points in overtime as the green and white won on their home floor for the first time in three games this season.
Early on, the two squads took turns going back and forth. The teams traded the lead five times with four ties in the first nine minutes of the game. The Eagles took the lead for the remainder of the half as Eric Pearson drained a triple to put UMW up 19-16 with 10:32 left in the half. The Mary Washington lead wavered between one and five points over the final 10 minutes of the stanza. York cut the lead to three with 21 seconds showing on the clock but the Eagles’ Matt Hale doubled that advantage with a three just before the buzzer to allow UMW to take a 34-28 lead to the break. The three looked to deflate the Spartans heading to the locker room.
The second half began much like the first half ended as Hale drained another three to push the lead to nine. Spartan head coach had seen enough from his starting unit and called a time out at the 17:44 mark. He subbed out the starters and replaced them with junior Mike Riley (Webster, N.Y./McQuaid Jesuit), and freshmen Matty Foley (Frederick, Md./Gov. Thomas Johnson), Dylan Hoffman (Dallastown, Pa./Dallastown), Andrew Pawlyk (Bernville, Pa./Tulpehocken), and sophomore Nick Brady (Hanover, Pa./Delone Catholic). That group played well while they were in the game as they trimmed an 11 point Mary Washington lead to two on a Foley triple with 11:18 remaining in regulation.
Spartan head coach Jeff Gamber felt his bench did what he needed them to do.
“Our reserves came in and did a good job,” stated Gamber. “They played hard and together.”
The starters checked back in and senior Nate Lankford (York, Pa./West York) hit a big three to draw York to within one at 48-47. The Eagles maintained the lead, pushing it back up to six on a Sam Groseclose lay up with 5:52 left. The green and white outscored the Eagles 9-3 over the next four minutes to tie the game at 61 courtesy of a pair of Levi Winters (Manchester, Pa./Northeastern) free throws. The teams would exchange possessions until the Eagles took a two point lead when Pearson punched in a tipped rebound with 2.3 seconds left as all hope seemed lost for York. The Spartans called time out to set up a play. Winters took the ball on the baseline and heaved the ball to McGowan, who got behind the defense, and the senior laid the ball of the glass for the game-tying bucket.
“Levi’s pass may have been the best pass I have seen as a coach,” said Gamber. “It was a two-handed chest pass from 80 feet. It was incredible.”
The overtime started with a McGowan free throw followed by a McGowan three on the next possession to give York the 67-64 lead. Hale drew the guests to within one with another three but McGowan split a pair of free throws and Pat Kelley (Davidsonville, Md./River Hill) hit a tough driving lay up from the baseline to push the Spartan lead to 70-66. Hale responded yet again with another three to draw the Eagles to within one with 1:52 left in overtime. Kelley hit another bucket and Brady drained a pair of free throws with nine seconds left, increasing York’s lead to 74-69. Jon Pierce hit yet another three to cut the lead to two with just over two seconds left. York inbounded the ball and Lankford tipped the ball ahead to McGowan who slammed home the insurance just before the final horn.
McGowan led the Spartans, who are now 3-3 overall and 2-1 in the CAC, with 21 points, five rebounds, two blocks and a pair of assists. McGowan was 8-for-12 from the floor including his overtime three. Winters was the other Spartan in double figures with 11 points. Winters added seven rebounds, a career-high five assists, and one steal in 37 minutes of action. Lankford added eight points and a career-high 10 rebounds. Kelley added eight points and two rebounds while Hoffman also had eight points on 12 minutes of action. Nine of the 11 Spartans who played, scored.
Hale paced the Eagles, who are now 3-2 overall and 2-1 in the CAC, as he poured in 20 points including 6-of-10 from three and 2-for-2 from the free throw line. Hale also had four assists and one steal in 43 minutes. Justin Baker added 16 points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals. Brandon Altmann added 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out with three minutes left in overtime. Pearson was the fourth Eagle in double figures with 11 points.
The Spartans finished the game shooting 47.5% from the floor and 28% from three. Like it has been all season, the Spartans scuffled from the charity stripe, making just 11-of-23, good for a mark of 47.8%. York held a 43-34 edge on the glass while the Spartan bench outscored their counterparts from UMW, 24-8.
Mary Washington shot 42.4% for the game but did make 11-of-28 (39.3%) from three. The Eagles made 11-of-13 (84.6%) from the free throw line.
The Spartans close out the 2007 fall semester portion of their schedule on Saturday when they travel to Salisbury University to face the Sea Gulls in a CAC contest. Game time in Salisbury is set for 4:00 pm.
Chad McGowan photo courtesy of Eric Linsley